The Birth of Particle Physics. Laurie M. Brown and Lillian Hoddeson, eds. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1986. 448 pp., illus. $18.95 PB.

In most instances one would welcome a new edition of a symposium held nearly seven years ago about as much as one would welcome a subscription to a newspaper seven years old. This book, however, is a valuable exception. The symposium, which was held at the Fermi Laboratory in May of 1980, focused on the history of modern particle physics and such a history can never really be dated. The book, edited by physicists Laurie Brown and Lillian Hoddeson, contains addresses delivered at the symposium and some of the colloquy that followed the formal talks.

I found the contents truly fascinating. Five chapters contain the presentations and discussions of some 40 particle physicists and historians and philosophers of science from around the world. The topics include early...

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